In a particular high school, a philosophy teacher would give his class of freshman
year students a puzzle game to solve during his last lesson for the year. The puzzle game
goes like this:
"A farmer was delighted when his first offspring, a twin son was born. As he owned
three quarter of a square piece of land, which the other quarter was owned by his
brother, he had already started thinking how to divide his land equally to his twin
son. He thought about it for a while and came out with the answer. Question : draw
the piece of land the farmer owned on a piece of paper and by using only a pencil
and a ruler, draw the boundary on that piece of land that the farmer had come out
with to divide it equally into 2."
The students were a bit surprised but nevertheless they all tried and solved the
puzzle. In no time, all of the students had completed the question. The teacher
gave them the answer and all of them got it right!
The next year, again during his last lesson, he gave the students the same puzzle
except that the farmer had got another son and hence he needed to divide his plot
of land into three equal parts! The students took longer this time but eventually
all of them got the answer.
The next year, before his last lesson, students got a bit smarter this time and
had prepared the answer first. All of them agreed that the teacher will definitely
ask them to divide that plot of land into four equal parts. It took them almost
a day to figure out the answer and they all agreed that this is the definite answer.
Sure enough during his last lesson, the teacher asked them the question they had
accurately anticipated. All of them took only a fraction of the time needed to solve
the question and the teacher commented,"hmm, all of you had prepared the answer
During the final year, before his last lesson, students again gathered and discussed
how to divide that plot of land into five equal parts. They took almost a week before
all of them could agree on the answer. During the last lesson, the teacher as expectedly
gave them the question. However, there is a twist this time. The brother died and
he inherited a quarter of the land and he now had a square plot of land. So, the
farmer had to think of a way to divide it into 5 equal parts. All of them were shocked
and disappointed about the time wasted anticipating his question. Some of the students
thought for a long time but just could not get the answer, but the remaining students
could finish it in a short period of time. The teacher had to wrap up the class
and gave them the answer. The students who could not solve the question kept saying
"why I did not think of that!" The teacher then gave this speech:
"All of you have reached the end of your journey in high school, sometimes you can
anticipate the problem and try to solve it earlier, other time you thought you know
the problem but actually you don't. Only those who had the resilience will survive,
good luck to all of you."
Now, are you able to solve the first three puzzles and have the resilience to solve
the last puzzle? Try it out before you check the answer below.
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